Mr. Dalek Discovers the True Meaning of Christmas
Leaking from the mind of Karen Dunn
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It was almost dark when Mr Dalek woke up.
With a metallic, voice-distortery yawn, he stretched his plunger, stretched his zapper and wiggled his eyestalk back and forth (as experience had long since taught him he could not blink).
Something was different about Adam's room tonight so Mr Dalek carried out a quick scan to find out what was wrong:
The fine layer of dust on his shelf - still there; the spare orange jumper stolen from the Velma doll as she slept - still hidden behind the clock; Adam's winning lottery ticket from last week's double roll-over - exterminated to prevent him buying bigger, badder, better toys and thus assigning the current inhabitants of his room to a car boot sale.
No, everything seemed to be in place but something was definitely different.
Checking carefully to make sure Adam and his strange friends were not coming up the stairs to press his buttons and fiddle with his plunger, Mr Dalek hovered down to the next shelf to speak to the Shaggy doll.
But Shaggy doll was nowhere to be seen. Nor were Velma and Fred and Daphne doll. Mr Dalek glided suspiciously over to the Mystery Machine model and poked his eyestalk in through the side window. (It had no glass in it due to a game of 'chuck the marbles at the weird collection of toys on the shelf' played by Adam and his friends two weeks ago, which had got out of hand and ended tragically when the Buffy and Willow dolls had fallen into the plastic recycling bin never to be seen again.)
The Mystery Machine was empty. Even the Scooby Doo doll was nowhere to be seen. So the chummy gang were not playing hide the bone in the cavernous van after all.
Mr Dalek became rather worried. He wasn't used to being alone. He hated being by himself. Forget the loneliness - he needed someone around to care for him, to look after him. To be there for him while he exterminated them.
Zipping along the shelf, his eyestalk darting from side to side, Mr Dalek searched all the usual hiding places his friends normally fled to when they saw him on the prowl. There was no one to be seen.
Suddenly his sensors picked up a strange sound. A sound he had never heard before. It was coming from the bedroom window, so Mr Dalek pushed his little gears to their limit and sped along the shelf to find out what was going on.
There by the window, grouped together in an excited huddle, were all his friends.
Well, technically they weren't friends. Subjects...maybe; enemies...sometimes; convenient things to chase and exterminate whenever the mood took him...usually.
But they were all here by the window, peeking through the steamed-up glass, jostling one another in their excitement to get a better look at whatever it was outside...and totally ignoring him and his zapper.
So he exterminated the Pinky doll to get their attention.
The toys spun round with a collective gasp: "Gasp!" they went, all at the same time, "Oh no! It's Mr Dalek!!"
And they all tried to run away. But as Mr Dalek was blocking their only escape route back along the shelf they were rather stuck.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" grated Mr Dalek.
There was much shuffling and shoving among the toys before the Velma doll was pushed unceremoniously forward with a startled: "Jinkies!"
With the Fred doll planting a hand firmly on her back preventing her front scooting away from the highly threatening 1 1/2-inch Dalek in front of her, the Velma doll waved a hand at the window and said: "Carol singers. It's Christmas."
"WHAT IS CHRISTMAS?"
"Umm...season of goodwill to all men. Love, general good feelings...that kind of thing," said Velma.
"UNNACCEPTABLE ANSWER!" said Mr Dalek and exterminated her.
The dolls gasped again, "GASP!!" they went.
Fred doll screamed like a woman and began running round and round in a circle so Mr Dalek exterminated him too, which was a bit of a relief to everyone.
"I WILL NOT ASK AGAIN," said Mr Dalek.
Shaggy Doll stepped forward and Mr Dalek's sensors picked up the strange sound coming from outside again.
Voices like Adam's but a little bit higher were singing about 'mangers' and 'cattle' and 'little Lord Jesus's' while other little voices in the distance were saying things like 'But I waaaaant a Malibu Barbie' and 'But Mark-up-the-road has got Slashgore 2 for the PC, Playstation and X-Box (only £47.99 from good retailers) so why can't I have it?'
"You hear that, dude?" said Shaggy doll, his knees knocking, "That's the spirit of Christmas, man. It's a time of friendship and love and absolutely no exterminating."
Mr Dalek zipped forward and poked his eyestalk against the window, watching the little humans standing on Adam's doorstep as they moved on to a tune about a little town called Bethlehem.
"You see," said Shaggy, "It's angelic, it's sweet, it's....well, nice, dude."
"I DO NOT LIKE 'NICE'," grated Mr Dalek and exterminated him. Then he exterminated Scooby Doo doll as well, just to show how much he didn't like 'nice'.
Daphne doll cowered in the corner by the windowsill while Brain doll put his immensely superior mind to the problem at hand.
"Daphne,' he said, helping her to her feet, "I believe I have deduced a fool-proof way out of this predicament. All I require is a hair pin and a high-heeled boot."
"Here," said Daphne doll, thrusting the required items into his paws.
"Excellent," said Brain doll, "This is what we must do...."
But then Mr Dalek exterminated him and kind of ruined the plan.
"Bugger," said Daphne.
Desperate to avoid a painful fate at the end of his zapper, she fell back on her feminine wiles to get out of the situation - after all, Mr Dalek had 52 balls...what could it hurt..?
Slinking forward as sexily as a person could when their elbow and knee joints don't actually bend she growled at Mr Dalek in a rather seductive manner.
Taking her growl to be a threat, Mr Dalek set his zapper to super-dooper high setting and exterminated her until all that was left was her trademark.
The little people outside, completely oblivious to the carnage taking place in Adam's room, started singing about the 12 days of Christmas before Adam opened the living room window and threatened them with violence if they didn't shove off.
Mr Dalek sat alone in Adam's room as darkness fell.
He was rather bored without his friends to chase and exterminate but consoled himself with the memory of the look on Daphne doll's face as her boobs melted in his death ray.
He was about to shut down for the night when he heard a strange rustling noise over by the fireplace.
Zipping to the edge of the shelf he watched as a shower of soot floated down from the chimney and made a mess on the Thunderbirds rug.
The soot was soon followed by a pair of bright red boots with fluffy white trim - all strangely unaffected by the soot from the fireplace that Mr Dalek could have sworn Adam's room didn't actually have until two minutes ago.
As Mr Dalek watched, a plump human emerged into the room, heaving a bulging sack of brightly wrapped presents behind him.
He crossed to Adam's Christmas tree and sorted a generous pile of presents beneath it, ticking Adam's name from a large book emblazoned with the words "Neither naughty nor nice but likely to take over the world one day so best to be careful and keep him sweet."
When the large, jolly man straightened up with a smile and a "Hohoho" Mr Dalek could feel his zapper tingling and hovered down from the shelf to exterminate the intruder.
Zooming across the room as fast as his gears would carry him, Mr Dalek skidded to a halt in front of the strange man's foot and waved his plunger in a threatening manner.
The podgy man bent down to look at him, his round, jolly face framed by a mop of white hair and a neat white beard, a fluffy red hat perched on top of his head.
His eyes were the deepest blue Mr Dalek had ever seen and as friendly as they come and when he smiled they sparkled and his whole face lit up, as jolly as can be.
"Hello" he said, picking up Mr Dalek, and chuckled a belly laugh.
Mr Dalek poked at his chest with his plunger and wished he was a full sized dalek and not just a piece of moulded plastic 1 1/2 inches high with 'made in Taiwan' stamped on the bottom.
"PUT ME DOWN OR I WILL EXTERMINATE YOU," threatened Mr Dalek as the jolly man patted him on the dome.
"There there," boomed the man, sounding remarkably like Brian Blessed, "There's no need to be afraid. I'm Santa Claus." He continued, completely unaware that he was in England and should be called Father Christmas.
"I AM MR DALEK," said Mr Dalek, "AND I AM NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING."
"That's good," said Mr Claus, "But shouldn't you be in bed. I can't leave you or your friends any presents if you're awake, you know. I'm sure you're all ever so nice and not the least bit naughty."
"I HAVE NO FRIENDS", said Mr Dalek.
Mr Claus patted him on the dome again, "I'm sure that's not true," he smiled.
"IT IS TRUE," said Mr Dalek, "I HAVE EXTERMINATED THEM ALL."
He waggled his eyestalk at the pile of deceased toys in the corner - and Daphne doll's smouldering trademark - and Mr Claus gave a gasp of surprise and dropped him on the floor.
"Gasp!" he went as Mr Dalek lay on the carpet, his wheels whirring as he tried to right himself.
"Oh dear," said Mr Claus, "Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. What did you do? Why did you do it? HOW did you do it - you we made in Taiwan!!" And he picked up Mr Dalek and put him on the shelf, peering at him with his slightly worried blue eyes.
"I AM A DALEK," said Mr Dalek, "I EXTERMINATE THINGS. IT'S WHAT DALEKS DO."
"But it's Christmas," said Mr Claus, "A time of love and goodwill. How can your friends love you if you keep exterminating them?"
"I DO NOT LIKE LOVE," grated Mr Dalek, "IT IS TOO EXPENSIVE."
Mr Claus shook his head sadly, "You are wrong, my psychotic little friend. Love is free to everyone." He raised his eyes to heaven, "There is one person who will love you no matter how you feel about him. He will love you unconditionally and welcome you into his kingdom when the time is right."
"AND I WILL EXTERMINATE HIM," said Mr Dalek.
"Oh Christ." Said Mr Claus burying his head in his hands.
He picked up Mr Dalek and took him to the window where a deep winter's night was being lit by a heavenly moon, it's light glinting on frost-covered trees. "Look deep inside yourself," he said, "How do you feel now your friends are gone?"
"BORED," said Mr Dalek wishing this round human would put him down.
"But don't you wish they were still around," said Mr Claus, "Don't you wish they were here to play with you this Christmas?"
Mr Dalek thought about it. He thought about the Shaggy, Fred, Scooby, Daphne, Pinky and Brain dolls. He thought about the Velma doll and her strangely alluring orange jumpers. He thought about how much fun they all had playing hide and seek and how good he felt as he exterminated them.
And he felt sad that they were gone.
The cherubic voices of some rather determined tiny carol singers filtered up into Adam's room once more as the snow began to fall.
Mr Dalek and Mr Claus gazed at each other, one with sparkling blue eyes in a jolly round face, the other with an eyestalk, 52 balls, a plunger and a zapper.
"So you see," said Mr Claus kindly, "You are loved and always will be loved and if your friends were still alive I'm sure they would take you in their arms and hug you. You have no need to carry on down the path of violence when there is so much life to embrace."
Mr Dalek gazed up at Mr Claus and watched as a single tear glistened at the corner of the kindly old man's eye.
His words enveloped him like a warm blanket and Mr Dalek felt something he had never felt before. Love.
So he exterminated the silly old man until the horrible feeling went away and then waited for Adam to unwrap all his new toys.
"HO HO HO."